TS Florence death toll climbs to 11

Nearly 1 million without power

TS Florence death toll climbs to 11
Slow-moving Florence dumps rain and creates dangerous flooding in the Carolinas

(RNN) - The death toll from Tropical Storm Florence has climbed to 11, according to the Associated Press.

Two people in Wilmington, NC, are among the dead after a mother and infant were killed when a tree fell on their house, WECT reported. A father in the same home was transported to the hospital.

A third person, a woman, died in Hampstead, NC, in Pender County.

Three more people died in Duplin County due to flash flooding, according to a post on the sheriff’s department’s Facebook page.

Two more people were killed in Lenoir County. Greenville station WITN said a 78-year-old man was electrocuted while he was trying to connect two extension cords in the rain. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper confirmed the death of the man who was electrocuted outdoors, CNN reported.

Another 78-year-old man was found dead at his home. It’s believed he died after he was blown down while going outside to check on his dogs.

A 61-year-old woman and a 63-year-old man died in Horry County, SC, after using a generator inside their home, according to WMBF.

One person died at the West Brunswick High School shelter Thursday morning, according to a spokesperson for Brunswick County. An investigation is underway, but officials said it appears there’s no reason for others at the shelter to worry.

Florence continues to move at a snail’s pace causing catastrophic flooding in North and South Carolina, according to the National Weather Service.

The eye of the storm as of 8 a.m. Saturday morning was about 35 miles west of Myrtle Beach, SC, with sustained winds of 50 miles per hour, according to the NWS. The storm was moving at 2 miles per hour.

The eye of Florence directly struck Wrightsville Beach, NC, early Friday. It officially hit the East Coast around 7:40 a.m. ET as a Category 1 hurricane.

Officials fear the worst damage is yet to come.

President Donald Trump issued a disaster declaration for North Carolina, the White House said Saturday. It will make federal money available to people in the counties of Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico and Pender.

Harnett County, NC, declared a mandatory evacuation along the Lower Little River as it is expected to rise to more than 17 feet above flood stage.

Some cities in the Carolinas have received 30 inches of rain, Ken Graham, the head of the National Hurricane Center told The New York Times.

Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm Friday, but it's remained deadly.

Nearly 1 million people are without power across the Carolinas, according to CNN.

More than 20,000 people in North Carolina spent Friday night in emergency shelters. A nuclear power plant in Brunswick, NC, shut down operations Friday.

Florence has already brought more than 2 feet of rain to some towns in the Carolinas. Newport, NC, “reported a rainfall total of almost 24 inches as of midnight Saturday,” the NHC said. But it’s expected to bring even more as it keeps slowly moving.

The 5 a.m. ET National Hurricane Center update warned of additional heavy rainfall, tropical-storm-force winds and possible tornadoes in parts of North and South Carolina, as Florence continues drifting west-southwestward over South Carolina through Saturday.

Florence is forecast to creep along eastern South Carolina through Saturday, dumping lots of water and lashing the region with winds. It’s expected to turn toward the west and northwest Saturday and Sunday, then turn northward through the Ohio Valley by Monday, the NHC said.

The National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service is predicting “Major Flooding,” its most severe classification, from the Pungo River in Belhaven, NC, to the Trent River in Pollocksville, NC, as of early Saturday morning.

A NOAA map shows river flooding from Florence.
A NOAA map shows river flooding from Florence. (Source: NOAA)

Southern and central North Carolina into far northeast South Carolina could see an additional 10 to 15 inches of rainfall, with “storm totals between 30 and 40 inches along the North Carolina coastal areas south of Cape Hatteras.”

The rainfall will continue to cause catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding, the NHC said.

The remainder of northern South Carolina into western North Carolina and southwest Virginia could see 5 to 10 inches of rainfall, with some isolated areas seeing 15 inches.

West-central Virginia into far eastern West Virginia, north of Roanoke and west of Charlottesville, will see 3 to 6 inches of rainfall, with some isolated areas seeing 8 inches.

The rainfall will produce life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding, and bring a greater risk of landslides.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC, to Ocracoke Inlet, NC, and the Pamlico Sound.

In addition, the threat of storm surges looms for areas in the path of the storm, meaning life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland is possible.

A storm surge warning is in effect for Myrtle Beach, SC to Ocracoke Inlet, NC, and the Pamlico Sound, including the Pamlico and Neuse rivers.

The Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo and Bay rivers may experience storm surges from 3 to 5 feet.

Other areas facing a surge include:

  • Ocracoke Inlet, NC, to Cape Lookout, NC, 2 to 4 feet
  • Cape Lookout, NC, to Cape Fear, NC, 3 to 5 feet
  • Cape Fear, NC, to Myrtle Beach, SC, 2 to 4 feet

And Florence isn’t the only named Atlantic storm swirling around.

Tropical Storm Isaac became Tropical Depression Isaac Friday morning, and it dissipated over the eastern Caribbean early Saturday morning.

Helene was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm Thursday. It’s about 425 miles west of the Azores, moving north-northeast at 22 mph.

The NHC upgraded Subtropical Storm Joyce to Tropical Storm Joyce in its 11 p.m. Thursday update.

Joyce, which is about 955 miles west-southwest of the Azores, is moving east at 8 mph. It’s forecast to turn northeastward and accelerate in that direction over the weekend.

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